Full Spectrum CBD Vs. Isolate: Which Should I Take?

Full Spectrum CBD Vs. Isolate: Which Should I Take?

To understand which type of CBD is best for you, it’s a good idea to have a thorough idea of what each entails. Once you know the difference between the full spectrum and isolate CBD, you can pick which one is best for your wants and needs. The best place to start would be taking a look at the cannabinoid spectrum, which will help you see how each is very different from the other.

What is CBD?

For those who are entirely new to anything CBD related, it might be helpful to understand what it is. CBD is a chemical compound found within the cannabis plant. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant. Sometimes small trace amounts of THC can be found in CBD, but it is only measured at .3% or less.

CBD currently has only one approved drug by the FDA called Epidiolex, which is used in the treatment for certain types of epilepsy. This doesn’t mean it isn’t great in treating other ailments, as it is used by a large number of people to treat medical related issues. Great for the body and the mind, users who have tried it tend to throw out their pharmaceutical drugs, and never look back.

The Cannabinoid Spectrum

The cannabinoid spectrum is the balance of concentrations taken from the whole marijuana plant, that measures the most prevalent and actively researched components. These cannabinoids include THC and CBD.

Typically, the spectrum is used for medical marijuana purposes to give patients a better understanding of what each is composed of and how it will react to the body. Each cannabinoid attaches to the receptors in your brain and causes different reactions.

Cliff notes: THC binds to the brain receptors and causes psychedelic effects, where CBD attaches to the brain receptors and causes zero psychedelic effects.

Cannabinoid Spectrum of CBD

When a CBD product is made, it is typically first extracted via CO2 methods from the whole cannabis plant. This process removes not only CBD but other compounds, terpenes, flavonoids and a wide range of cannabinoids.

Depending on what strain is being extracted, this will determine what profile is drawn. For instance: Sativa strains are going to obtain more THC, and Indica strains are going to remove more CBD. Hybrids will typically pull even THC to CBD, or one might be higher than the other depending on how it was bred.

Once extraction occurs, breeders will choose to filter the results towards a specific cannabinoid they are searching for. The refined results are what is classified as full spectrum CBD or isolate CBD.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full Spectrums CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant along with all of the other cannabinoids and compounds. Because it contains everything obtained from the plant, it causes something referred to as the entourage effect. It typically comes in an oil form.

Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and fiber are all also found in Full Spectrum CBD which is more beneficial to those who are looking for medical relief.

Full Spectrum CBD was thought to be the weaker form of CBD until a 2015 Israeli study debunked that theory. The study showed patients using Full Spectrum CBD had better overall relief outcomes than those using any other form of CBD. The study also showed that when users increased the Full Spectrum CBD dose their relief increased vs. those raising the dose of the Isolate CBD had effects that stayed the same.

What is Isolate CBD?

An isolate, in scientific terms, can be described as the purest form of a compound that is produced when it is extracted from its environment singularly. The end result is isolated from all other compounds, hence the name.  In other words, Isolate CBD is purified CBD.

CBD isolate is found in a pure white powder form. People tend to mix it with oil, put it in a liquid substance like their morning coffee, or use it to make delicious edibles.  Since it is a delicate powder, it’s easy for people to measure out precisely and efficiently.

Typically this form is extracted from hemp and all things are removed including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids.

Zero psychedelic effects will ensue with Isolate CBD, since everything has been removed from it.

CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum: Which Should You Take?

One thing that should be noted is the fact that neither one of these is superior to the other. They both work great in their own way, and the type that should be taken is going to vary from person to person. It will mainly come down to the wants and needs of the consumer. Best tip for new users is to try both, and go with the one your body responds to.

For those who are still confused by all the laws around CBD remember; CBD from cannabis is only legal in medical or recreational states vs. CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 states under the 2018 US Farm Bill.

CBD Isolate is suggested for:

  1. Those who were prescribed to take a high dose of CBD.
  2. People living in states where THC is illegal, but still need the benefits of cannabis compounds.
  3. Users who prefer ingesting CBD and don’t want to vape or us it in its oil form.
  4. Those who want a higher concentration of CBD.
  5. Individuals who are sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids and do not want a psychotropic effect.
  6. People who prefer zero to little flavor.
  7. First-time users of CBD, THC or any other cannabinoid that wish to test their bodies reaction.
  8. Anyone who has to undergo numerous drug tests, or who have a single drug test coming up.
  9. Parents who want to help their kids ailments for the first time.

Full Spectrum CBD is suggested for:

  1. Those looking for a higher THC to CBD ratio.
  2. People who want a long lasting, fast acting medical effect.
  3. Patients with severe pain and discomfort either in the form of mental or body ailments.
  4. People who live in a current state where THC is legal either fully or medically.
  5. Those looking for relief from the whole plant itself, and all the compounds found within it.
  6. Anyone with gastrointestinal disorders can benefit from the THC found in the products to help with appetite – crucial for chemo patients.

Additionally, patients with substantial nerve pain from Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s are better treated with Full Spectrum CBD, because of all of the compounds found within it.

People who want to use a product with more vitamins, nutrients and essential proteins will want to use Full Spectrum and won’t want to turn to Isolate, due to the fact that it contains none.

Factors That Affect CBD Intake

A few outside factors will come into play when using CBD, and it is essential to keep that in mind when choosing which is right for you. Your bodily reactions with CBD will be affected by things including your genetics, age, height, weight and other medications you may already be taking.

It is so crucial to remember everyone is different and everybody is different. One CBD might be perfect for your friend or family member, but another might be better for you.

You may start having results with one CBD, and then it may begin to decrease. In this case, you may not have to switch up the type of CBD you are taking, but you may want to switch up things like your exercise and diet routine so your body can work better with the kind of CBD you are using.

The serving size might need to be adjusted as well if you are getting adverse reactions, or if not enough relief is happening. Change the serving size before you completely write off one type, and more importantly, try both types, so you can be sure you are getting the correct one for you. Do not try both types at once, or you will not know which type is effective.

Final Thoughts

It is important not to get stuck in a state of mind where you believe that one type of CBD is superior to the other. Your body will determine which type is better for YOU.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to go into a dispensary to ask for help or email the CBD company you are interested in purchasing products from. They will be more than happy to help you and answer any questions you may have. Most CBD websites will have articles that may answer any additional questions, so it’s always a good idea to search their website to learn as much as you can.

Checking user reviews is another good place to start if you are still unsure. With people being so interactive in the online world, you might find someone using CBD to cure an illness or ailment similar to yours. Personal experiences can help connect and guide you to the right CBD product.


Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.